News Cast for October 26th:

Fire Station Number Two in Okeechobee County has the plans for renovation now it’s time to get a contractor to apply those renovations. Okeechobee County Commissioners gave the okay to Fire Chief Ralph Franklin to solicit bids for the renovation of the 30 year old fire station, which they’ve outgrown at its current space. Plans are to put in an additional 12 hundred square feet of additional living space for personnel and Franklin says there will also be a revamping of the work area as well. Franklin says bids for the renovation, which will be paid for by a $500 thousand dollar reimbursable grant from the state legislature, will be submitted over the next three months and the renovations should be complete by this time next year.

Franklin-Fire Station Renovations 1

Franklin-Fire Station Renovations 2

Looks like the project of wide-ditch cleaning will be going out for re-bidding. At their meeting on Tuesday, Okeechobee County Commissioners rejected a bid by Seminole Design Build, Incorporated of just over $2.3 million dollars to do ditch cleaning in big tributary drainage systems in the county that require the use of a long stick. Road Maintenance Director Pete De Pasquale says when it goes out for re-bidding, it will emphasize what specific areas require the use of a long stick for ditch cleaning. De Pasquale says up until recently, ditches were getting cleaned out regularly. Some areas that will require the use of a long stick cleaning include Otter Creek, Taylor Creek and Canefield Ditch. It will be brought back before the board at a future meeting.

De Pasquale-Long Stick Ditch Cleaning

An Okeechobee man, already under arrest for failing to appear in court on previous charges, is in more trouble following an incident this past weekend. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 31 year old Stephen Reginald Barton at his home on the 13 hundred block of NE 55th Trail just after 1:30 Wednesday for burglary and criminal mischief when he stole a man’s travel trailer from his home this past Saturday. Deputies say the victim of the burglary called the sheriff’s office and said his 43 foot trailer was taken from the driveway of his home on the 17 thousand block of NW 282nd Street. Deputies say the trailer owner called deputies Saturday night and said he found his trailer at Barton’s home. The siding was all torn off when it was found. Barton was arrested and charged when he finally returned to his home. His bond has not been set. Damages to the trailer total $12 hundred dollars.

On the arrest report:

59 year old James Michael Twomey of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for battery on a person over the age of 65. His bond has not been set.

19 year old Keontae Darius Rozier of Okeechobee and an inmate in county jail was arrested for battery on another inmate. His bond has not been set.